Pfiesteria piscicida and Pfiesteria shumwayae in coastal waters of Long Island, New York, USA

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Parke A. Rublee, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Water and sediment samples were collected during summer and early fall 1999–2004 from coastal waters of New York State, USA, to test for the presence of Pfiesteria piscicida and Pfiesteria shumwayae. Physical and chemical conditions were characterized, and real-time polymerase chain reaction assays were conducted. Both species were relatively common and found at most sites at least once, and the frequency of positive assays was higher in sediments than in the water column. In a subset of the data from Suffolk County, Long Island, the presence of Pfiesteria was related to high chlorophyll a and relatively high nutrient concentrations. Partial SSU rDNA sequences of four PCR amplicons generated using P. shumwayae primers indicated two sequences: three were identical to GenBank P. shumwayae entries, but one showed enough sequence difference (15 positions in a 454 bp amplicon) to suggest a possible new species. Three isolates were tested for toxicity, and one was found to kill fish in bioassays. Despite the widespread presence of both Pfiesteria species and demonstration of potential to harm fish, no blooms of these dinoflagellates have been observed, nor has there been evidence of Pfiesteria-related fish or human health problems in these waters, likely related to colder temperatures than optimal for Pfiesteria species.

Additional Information

Harmful Algae
Language: English
Date: 2006
Dinoflagellates, Long Island, New York, Pfiesteria

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